USCG Cutter Munro Returns Home After Seizing $115M in Cocaine


Published Mar 2, 2020 3:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Munro returned to her home port in Alameda on Sunday after a 78-day deployment in which her crew seized about $115 million worth of cocaine from suspected smugglers.

The crew patrolled the known drug-transit zones of the Eastern Pacific between late December and mid-January, interdicting three suspected drug-smuggling vessels carrying a total of 6,680 pounds of pure cocaine.

The cocaine seized by Munro’s crew and three other Coast Guard cutters was part of a nearly 20,000-pound haul of cocaine offloaded in San Diego on Feb. 11. The interdictions these cutters conducted were in support of Campaign Martillo, a regional inter-agency initiative targeting trafficking in international waters. The law enforcement phase is conducted under the authority of the 11th Coast Guard District, headquartered in Alameda. The intercepts, including the boardings, are led and conducted by members of the U.S. Coast Guard - even when the platform is operated by a partner nation or by the U.S. Navy. 

This patrol was Munro’s second deployment to the Eastern Pacific since the cutter’s commissioning in 2017. Last July, Vice President Pence attended Munro’s offload of more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine and 933 pounds of marijuana worth more than $500 million. That offload included a giant 17,000-pound haul of cocaine that Munro's crew seized from a single semi-submersible smuggling vessel. 

“I truly could not have asked for a better crew with whom to share these memories, but we didn't do this alone,” said Capt. Jim Estramonte, Munro’s commanding officer. “Through all our adventures, the friends and family members of Munro’s crew have supported us. It is their hard work at home that allows us to serve."